As suggested by a few rumors last week, Apple has introduced CarPlay (no “i” prefix to be seen?), an iOS vehicle integration system. This “iOS in a car” gives you an intuitive way to make/receive calls, use Apple Maps, listen to music on your iPhone (including iTunes Radio), and more. It does require an iPhone to be connected to the whole system but for good reasons.
To activate Siri and use it (ahem, him or her), you can use the voice control button on the steering wheel. Just like on the iPhone, you can make calls, send messages, and change music tracks just by using your voice. I assume you can also tell Siri to check on the weather, search the web, and other stuffs as well here.
Integrated Maps within the dashboard is not the same thing as having your own GPS navigational system. It’s much more. For example, thanks to iOS 7, CarPlay can also predict where you most likely want to go next (on certain days, certain time) and don’t forget that CarPlay would have all your most recent contacts (since it’s connected directly to your iPhone). This also means you don’t have to spend money to update your in-car GPS maps.
Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Beats Radio, and Stitcher apps already support CarPlay, but more supported apps are expected to come soon. I expect FourSquare, Twitter, and Facebook to be the next?
CarPlay is designed to make sure you are not distracted from the road by using Siri to take care most of your needs. Messages will also be read for you so your eyes can still be on the road (assuming your messages are all in English). To be honest, however, I just feel that CarPlay will give more distractions while you drive. For example, I don’t normally check my messages while I drive but with CarPlay, there is no reason not to?
It will be interesting to see how popular CarPlay will be. I definitely have my eyes next on a car that supports CarPlay (assuming I’m still on the iPhone).
Here are all of the CarPlay supported cars for now: Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo. Others will follow soon: BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, KIA, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota. I’m quite surprised Audi is not in the list but I’m happy that we have lots of car manufacturers who jump into the ship!
Check out Apple’s CarPlay official page for more details